Valentine's Day Backlash

February 15th Keeps Divorce Attornies Busy

Shana Franklin The 33 News

It was the day before Valentine's Day 2009 when one Dallas woman whose identity we are protecting, says, "My soul left my body. I did not feel anything."

That's because the ring of her doorbell turned up something unexpected: a man serving her with divorce papers. She had expected the more traditional, "that I might get flowers, bags of chocolate."

V-Day to D-Day is a more common occurrence than you might realize. is a San Francisco-based company that matches attorneys with clients. It has seen the number of divorce filings around Valentine's Day increase every year since 2003. In 2010, the number of filings before Valentine's Day jumped 12%. In 2009 that number was 18%.

Dallas divorce attorney Cynthia Dunn says, "It's symbolic. It's the love holiday. So if you're relationship is not at that point anymore, Valentine's Day is perhaps the catalyst to say, 'Maybe it's time to make a change.' "

Dunn got married on Valentine's Day, but she also sees the unromantic side of the holiday with regularity. Every year, people race to file their divorces or get them finalized around February 14th. Cynthia Dunn says, "A lot of times what we see is there's a third party involved in the divorce case, and that third party could be a catalyst to say it's time to leave your spouse and move on with the new relationship."

For the Dallas woman we introduced you to earlier, the timing of her divorce notice was surprising and made her feel like a victim. She has now paid the untraditional Valentine's Day present forward by starting a company to empower women. She says, "There is life after divorce. It could be a wonderful life."